Kevin Durant wants Kyrie to be on the floor. However, he says that the Nets must figure it out while Durant is away. (0:42).
NEW YORK -- Durant stated that Brooklyn, despite a 1-2 start, isn't losing its confidence and can win even without Kyrie Irving.
Durant scored 38 points in the Nets' 111-95 defeat. Durant was twice asked if he believes the Nets can win without their starting point guard. This is especially important when it gets tough.
Durant stated, "While we're playing in a game I'm not going to sit down and say, 'Damn! we don't have enough' when we get down. "We won't be thinking about that during the game. Kyrie Irving is definitely wanted out on the court. He is an integral part of our work. It isn't happening right now. We have to solve it.
"But nobody is going to lose faith while we play and I hope Kyrie saves us during the game. We have to play. Everyone is confident in their work. All we have to do is play.
The regular season has been started by the Nets as if it were an extended preseason. To adjust to Irving's absence, Coach Steve Nash has experimented with different lineups and rotations. Irving has not been compliant with New York City’s mandate that he get at least one vaccine shot to be able to play at Barclays Center or Madison Square Garden, the home of the New York Knicks.
The Nets lost their season opener 127-104 to the Milwaukee Bucks. To beat the Philadelphia 76ers, they needed a triple-double by Durant and to score 16 points in the final 17 minutes.
Demonstrators gathered outside Barclays Center on Sunday to support Irving's decision not to get vaccinated. The Nets could have used Irving inside the arena as Durant (16 points, 8 assists and 7 rebounds) were both Nets who scored at least 10 points.
Durant scored 9 points, while Harden added 4 for the Nets.
Durant repeated the answer, "Yesh," when Durant was asked if there is enough for the Nets to win. "I'm not going to say that there won't be enough here. That is not what I will say. We had a good control of the game during the first half. They performed better in the second half.
"It's only three games in. We have plenty."
Harden, who was unable to play due to hamstring strain, tried in the second round 2020-21 playoffs. He said that he is still working on his confidence as he begins this season. Harden could benefit from playing at the same frequency as he used to, which could be a big help.
Harden averages 18.3 points, 8. assists and 7.3 boards. However, Harden has been to the line only nine times in his last three games. From 2014-15 to 2019, Harden made an average of 10.1 trips to line each season.
Nash feels that the rules changes to this season's officiating of "overtly abrupt or abnormal nonbasketball moves" by offensive players using the ball to draw fouls, particularly inside, have wrongly affected Harden.
Nash stated that he feels like he has unfairly been made the poster boy for not calling fouls. Some of them are still clearly fouls. They're so alert and aware that he's the poster boy for these new decisions. ... It's true, it has a line. But some are still fouls.
Nash said that he believes Harden is on the drive. They are hyper-aware of Harden reaching for guys' arms. Guys aren't set and they're being caught bumping him, not in a legal guarding posture. It's a foul. That has nothing to do the hands. Those are the ones I have a slight problem with. James will get there.
Harden was able to make one free throw against Charlotte, but he isn't complaining.
Harden stated, "No matter how big we try to make it a big deal, a foul's still a foul." It's very simple. It seems like they are putting too much emphasis upon rules. Not rules at all, but certain people, to the point where you see it as clear fouls. You just have to keep going. No big deal."
"... Harden added that he was not one to complain about it. I ask all officials if they see fouls, and they just call it a foul. Sometimes I feel like I'm being pre-determined when I go to a game or that I have a stigma about getting foul calls. But I ask the officials to call what they see.